GDPR Compliance and Your Law Firm

How does GDPR compliance affect your law firm? This blog will dive into what GDPR compliance is and how that plays a role at your firm or legal practice. Let’s get started! 

What is GDPR Compliance?  

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) impacts businesses around the world; this includes law firms and attorneys. The general purpose of implementing GDPR requirements is to hold businesses responsible for the use/protection of citizens’ data. If you are working with a business/client from the European Union, they are protected under the GDPR. Though GDPR is focused on the European Union, it still impacts law firms in the U.S. 

How Does GDPR Compliance Affect Law Firms?  

There are several areas to highlight to understand the full spectrum of GDPR compliance as it relates to the legal industry as a whole and in the U.S. Here are all the terms you need to be familiar with.  

Legal Consideration 

One thing your law firm needs to take into account with GDPR compliance is its relationship to the legal ethics requirements by the applicable state bars in the U.S. This is largely referencing Canon Law 4. 

Privacy Rights 

GDPR compliance is an advanced privacy right. Working under GDPR compliance will increase your data privacy obligations and all fines and penalties associated with it. 

Applicability 

As a practicing law firm, you need to know when GDPR requirements apply and when they don’t. In general, GDPR applies to businesses that provide goods or services to EU residents, even if the goods/services are not paid for. The reason payment does not have to be included for GDPR to apply is in the event of pro-bono work. 

Consent 

To gain consent for the use of data, you must be clear and get permission from the business or individual. Asking for someone to accept a privacy policy is not considered a valid form of consent under GDPR compliance. 

Covered Data  

Covered data through GDPR compliance is “personal information.” Personal information is regulated through GDPR compliance and is classified as any information that relates back to the natural person. For it to be personal info, it’s would have to be used to identify a person directly/indirectly. 

Technology & GDPR Compliance   

GDPR compliance is all focused around one thing, data privacy. Law firms process tons of sensitive data every day. Since data storage has evolved into the digital realm, you need to make sure your data is protected. Investing in cybersecurity and Backup Disaster & Recovery are a must to ensure your firm’s information is secure. For more information, click here. 

Final Takeaways on GDPR Compliance  

There’s a lot involved when you are dealing with GDPR compliance at your law firm. Staying current on all the requirements and keeping your data secure are the two most important things you can do.  

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